tv PBS News Hour Weekend PBS November 10, 2013 5:30pm-6:01pm PST
on this edition for sunday, november 10th. the death toll soars in the philippines following the massive typhoon. in our signature segment, we'll take to you a country in europe wherever everyone gets a pension. what makes it successful is you basically force people to save for their old age. >> and what the use can do to help retirees. >> it is much more efficient for people to have guaranteed income until they die rather than a big pile of money. >> next on pbs "news hour weekend." >> made possible by louis b and louise. judy and josh weston. the laura and john arnold
foundation. the wallach family. the sheryl and phillip millstein family. bernard and irene schwartz. rosalyn p. walter. corporate funding provided by mutual of america. designing customized individual and group retirement products. that's why we're your retirement company. additional support is provided by -- and by the corporation for public broadcasting. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. from the tisch studios in new york. >> good evening. thank you for joining us. authorities now believe at least 10,000 people were kill during that extraordinarily powerful typhoon friday. the devastated cities, towns and fishing villages on the islands that make up the central philippines. even though typhoon heyan packed
winds of 200 miles an hour, most of the damage was from the storm surge that reached as high as 13 feet. officials say the storm was so strong that it destroyed about three quarters of the buildings in its path. the president there flew to tacloban, a city of more than 200,000 people that was one of the hardest hit areas. the officials are here to ensure that help is given to you the fastest way possible and things are restored to the natural order. >> u.s. defense secretary chuck hagel ordered the pacific command to help with search and rescue operations and to air lift emergency supplies to the stricken region. early morning, marathon negotiations in geneva switzerland everybodied without an interim agreement to freeze iran's nuclear program. the talks will resume november 20th. iranian president haas rouhani told members of his parliament that his nation will forge head with the nuclear program. his comments were viewed as a
gesture to hard liners uncomfortable with the overtures to the west. the secretary of state john kerry participated in the geneva talks with his counterparts. today kerry defended the obama administration's willingness to negotiate a deal that could result in the lifting of some of the economic sanctions against iran. >> we are not blind and i don't think we're stupid. i think we have a pretty strong sense of how to measure whether or not we are acting in the interests of our country and of the globe and particularly of our allies, like israel and gulf states will. >> but republican senator lindsey graham said today, lifting the sanctions would be a big mistake. >> we believe that sanctions and the threat of military force is the only thing that will bring the iranians to the table. if we back off now, i think that is exactly the wrong signal. >> following his land slide re-election last tuesday, new jersey governor chris christie made the rounds of the sunday morning talk shows and urged
fellow republicans to go after typically democratic leaning minority voters. >> you go and you show up and you listen and you start to make your argument about your policies. i think the results show that what we need across the country. to listen up and show up in place where we haven't gotten a great amount of vote before. >> christie won 21% of the african-american vote and a majority of the his spannic votes. numbers that far exceed what republicans have done in recent elections. there was street violence in saudi arabia following a week-long crackdown on undocumented workers. authorities have arrested thousands and two people were killed. the saudi government is attempted to drastically alter its labor force by out mostly african low skilled workers to create jobs for a growing saudi population. >> there is word a memoir written by the teenager has been
banned from libraries and tens of thousands of pakistani schools. an education official said the book did not show enough respect for islam. he called the 16-year-old, quoting now, a too. western powers. members of the taliban shot malala in the head for advocating for the education of girl last year. >> china is now the world's second largest economy. what happens there naturally has great ill reply indications for the rest of the world. we want to spend some time talking about a very important meeting in beijing. it involves the top leaders of the ruling party and is expected to produce major economic reforms. this is the director of asia studies. so how in this day and age they are having a closed door meeting about their economic policy reforms, why is it so consequential? this is a gathering of the top leadership of the communist party about the top not quite 400 men's of the central committee and the alternate
members. and they're gather ordering the lay out the trajectory of economic reform for the next five to ten years. so it is highly consequential. and they're really talking about nothing less than reforming the fundamental underpinnings of the chinese economy. so whether they're able to accomplish that, at this meeting over the next few years is really going to be incredibly important for china for five to ten years out. >> so has the chinese model slowed? on the one hand, they've lifted 600 million people out of poverty by manufacturing everything the rest of the world uses. are they running out of steam? >> not only is the economic growth dropping from 10 to 9 to 8 and now closer to 7%. gdp gross but there is a sense they have to undertake some fundamental transformations within the economy if they're going on sustain their growth moving forward. how will you transform china from being a manufacturing nation to an innovation nation?
rebalancing the economy, moving away from investment led, export led growth to consumption based economy. and how are you going to reduce the role of vested interests within the chinese economy. the enterprise that's suck up so much of the bank lending and rely such great subsidies that they're crushing private enterprise. >> so so many people displaced, 38 committing sue sides in certain parts of the country. we're hearing there are certain 70s are almost ghost cities that have been built and nobody is living in them. and we see a real estate bubble emerging too. >> so a big part of the economic challenge at this point is the misallocation of camden. the way the center and local governments interact. the reliance of local governments on real estate on land sales for 70 to 90% of the revenues. that's why you have them taking the land from the farmers illegally and you have that
social unrest. so all of these small areas of reform have huge social consequences. and these are precisely the kinds of issues that they need to deal with. >> so something we'll watch for on tuesday. that's when they release the policy. >> they'll release on it tuesday but i think it is important to bear in mine, that's stage one. stage two is releasing the policy. stage two and three are putting the policies in place and implementing them. >> thanks so much. >> thank you. tonight news hour weekend debuts the pension peril. a public television initiative that will shine a light on the more than $1 trillion shortfall in funding for public employees' retirement benefits across the country. we'll explore what it means for retirees and taxpayers. examine how it might threaten the fiscal stability of states
and report on proposed solutions. we goib a comparison. a report from the netherlands which provides pensions for public employees and almost everyone else there. the dutch system is also facing challenges. news hour correspondent reports on the pension peril. >> reporter: it's early morning in the suburb outside amsterdam and josephine is getting ready for work. she's a police officer and after decades of work, she is just a few years away from hanging up her gun and retiring. >> translator: i love taking walks and biking so i think i'll spend a lot of time doing things that right now i can't do. walking, biking, going to museums, reading books. i have a whole stack of books over there that i still want to read. >> reporter: josephine lives with her husband and daughter and when she does retire, he
will join those with the pension to sustain them. it is regularly ranked one of the greatest systems in the entire world. the average dutch work where they retire can expect to receive about 70% of their income paid out to them every year for the rest of their lives. what's more, the entire country is practically covered by them. over 90% of dutch workers will get these pensions. retirees in the netherlands not only get something similar to social security but they get a pension through their job. and these pensions aren't just for police and teachers and other public workers. bakers get them. hair dressers, grocery clerks, even the staffers who sell pot in the netherlands' infamous coffee shops get them. each industry sets up a nonprofit pension funneled for its own workers. at the butcher's shop in the heart of amsterdam, role an has been working for over 20 years. with every paycheck, a bit of his salary is automatically taken out and put into a pension
fund. employees put in a little. employers put in a little more. and that money from tens of thousands of people invested together builds up the funneled. >> translator: it is all quite well organized. my employer pays a part of my pension and then when i'm 65, or 67, then they'll pay it out to me. you do get a nice document overview in the mail at your house but yeah, i read through that quickly maybe once. and then i put it aside again. really, i don't look into it that closely. >> reporter: this is his boss and emdepending on their line of work, employees have roughly 10% of their pay did i have entered into their pension. he argues that the great feature of this system is that the savings happen effortlessly. >> translator: well, it is quite simple. you get 20 a week in your hands, you go for an extra drink, a
cigarette, something extra for the kids. a bouquet of flowers for your wife. quickly that 20 euros is gone. but you put away 20 euros each week, you do that for 40 something years of your worg life, it becomes a substantial amount. >> what makes it successful is that you basically force people to save for their old age. and that i think is the success factor of the dutch pension system. >> reporter: this is the director at the central bank of netherlands which help oversee the country's system. he said their approach is backed up by research in behavioral economics which tries to understand how and why people make financial decisions. >> what about the argument some americans make which is, i appreciate the philosophical underpinnings of the program. don't force me. let me have my money and figure out how i want to deal with it. >> i understand that very much. but being a human being, i think
we have to realize that because our horizon is so short, you sometimes have to force yourself, basically ask somebody else, i know that i'm kind of short-sighted. i am myopic. please do it for me. if you do not force me, i know that i'm not going to do it. that's basically how it works. it has to do with human behavior. because for somebody who is 25 or 30 or even 40, it is very abstract. what will happen when you're 65. >> 26-year-old melanie martins is the kind of person he is talking about. she lives with her parents south of amsterdam. though she has a graduate degree, she is working at "star wars" bucks and looking for a better job. . >> i hope to stop working at 65. maybe if i save up some money myself on top of my pension.
it should be possible. it is hard to think about something that is 40 years future. >> john martins, her dad, is a 50-year-old railway engineer and he is worried about melanie's future. that she won't have the comfortable retirement he is expecting. but even his retirement has already been delayed. i counted on until i was 61. then i worked for 40 years for the dutch railway. the government said i have to work until i'm 67 so that's still quite a while. >> the retirement age is going up because in the netherlands, much like the u.s., their population is getting older. there are more retirees and they're living longer. for the dutch, that mean more payments coming out of pension funds for longer and also like the u.s., there are fewer young workers so there are fewer people paying into the funds. this imbalance is only expected to accelerate.
what's more, the funds themselves, many of which are invested took a huge hit during financial crisis so something had to give. in the spring of 2013, the dutch pension funds were forced to take an unprecedented step. 66 of the country's 415 funds announce they had would make cuts to the payments they made to pensioners. some of the cuts were modest at half of 1%. some were steeper at up to 7%. those cuts came about because dutch law requires that pension funds to have sock away at least 105% of all their current liabilities. if a fund drops below that level, pension managers have the authority to make workers pay more or give out less to retirees. >> it is this checkive sharing of risk that is another hallmark of the dutch system. unlike public pensions in the u.s.,ers would are guaranteed a set payment. whether there are funds in the plan or not. or individual retirement plans
like iras or 401(k)s where each individual bears the sole rick, the dutch have spread those risks and the benefits across tens of thousands of workers. that makes their system much more resilient in tough times. >> most people find pensions fairly boring. like mortgages, they don't think about financial stuff. >> she is the economics editor of one of the biggest newspapers in the country. she says yes, the dutch system is resilient but she argues, despite the wishful thinking of many, these demographic challenges are not going away any time soon. >> it is a structural thing. not only the crisis. i think part of the population doesn't get it yet. they think why do we have to lower the pensions now? because it is only temporary. you just have to sit out the crisis and then we can go back
to the old ways. >> the question becomes to keep the system going, who exactly has to adjust? john martins worries in the end, younger workers like his daughter melanie will have to shoulder more of the burden by paying more in and getting less out. i get that money because i already build up for 30 years. so in the end it will be okay for me. but for melanie, it won't be enough. >> he understands, he may have to make adjustments to help out his daughter's generation. >> if i have to pay higher pension premiums or receive a lower pension to make sure my daughter will have a pension, that's what has to happen. >> police officer josephine just a few years from retirement belongs to one of the pension funds that already did make a
small cut to retirees. >> it could be if the crisis continues it will have to be lowered again. that's possible. i hope not. it is less than i expected but it enough. i think i can be happy with the pension i'll receive. >> despite his recent troubles, it is worth remembering the dutch pension system is nearly 100% funded. covers a huge majority of the country and remains a model for the rest of the year. josephine used a common dutch expression to reflect her realism about the future. >> translator: i don't think the tree can keep growing into the heavens. >> how does a dutch retirement system compare with what we have in the united states? earlier i sat down with justin fox, the executive editor of the harvard business review. i started by asking him about the differences between the two countries. >> the u.s. system started after world war ii a bit like the dutch system. corporations providing pensions for people. and that kind of fell apart
during the 1970s. although there are still some corporations with pensions out there and there are lots of state and local governments that give them. so what we switched to in the u.s. is the dutch put this emphasis on keeping it collective. having everybody in an industry, in a pension together. or some large corporations have their pensions. in the u.s. we moved to this totally atomized 401(k) system where most people are basically responsible on their own for saving for retirement. >> what can we take away from that system that we could possibly institute here? >> well, one thing that is already happening is sort of automatically setting people up so they save in a 401(k). i think more and more employers, my employer, harvard university, just announced this. that basically unless you tell them not to, they're going to automatically start taking, i think it is initially 3% of your salary and putting it aside and
your work force isn't growing and it is growing very fast. that puts pressure on the system. and all the people in your report, their concerns are real but still we're talking about slight decreased in how much they're talking about how much they'll get in the future. the u.s. is in better shape with that. because we're a younger country. we have more immigration. we have a faster growing work force. >> all right. thanks so much for your time. >> thanks for having me. >> my conversation with justin fox continues online. we spoke at greater length about the crisis i of public pension funds in the united states and around the world. visit newshour.pbs.org. in future segments, we'll be looking at cities across the united states and other nations are addressing the challenges of providing pensions.
this is pbs news hour sunday. on veterans day, most americans think of the men and women in uniform. but military life also has a huge effect on their children. the pbs news hour student reporting labs network reached out to students living in bahrain. to find out how their parents' military careers have affected their lives. >> being a military kid has really given me a bunch of opportunities that i wonderful have been able to have if i was not a military kid. >> we get to go to new places and different places that some people might not have heard of. >> and then to italy and i don't think i've ever dreamed of going there but it was really cool. >> i get to travel around the world and i learn a bunch of new languages like i speak german, french, italian. and now i'm learning arabic since i just moved here. >> you hear you're moving to the middle east. you panic a little bit because
you don't know what is going to happen but you actually learn that what maybe you thought like was stereo type cal about a certain region, you become more open minded. >> since my dad is in the military, i'll tell you one bad thing. i have to leave all my friends. i have to basically start a new life in a different country. when i do, it is really hard. >> my mom goes away on a ship for at least about two or three years. >> everyone is going through the same thing. we're all military kids but we're all from different places. how many 17-year-olds can say they've been to paris and they've been to prague and that they've been to italy? >> i like being a military kid because i love traveling. so my question for my dad is always, where are we going next?
join us on the news hour tomorrow on air and online. we look at a program aimed at educating veterans and ensuring they get access to health care. plus flying those who serve in the world war ii to washington to visit the memorial. that's it. thanks for watching. -- captions by vitac -- www.vitac.com
the laura and john arnold foundation. the wallach family. in memory of miriam and ira d. wallach. bernard and irene schwartz. rosslyn p. walter. corporate funding is provided by mutual of america. designing customized individual and group retirement products. that's why we're your retirement company. additional support is provided by -- and by the corporation for public broadcasting. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you.
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